SpaceX to announce private moon flight passenger

Elon Musk had said two humans take that trip at some point in 2018

In typical fashion for any company owned by Elon Musk, they've made a decision to do so by blasting a single person - the world's first private passenger, around the moon and back to test the rocket's capability for far space travel.

SpaceX had previously announced in 2017 that two then-unnamed passengers had booked passage for a Lunar flyby in a Falcon Heavy rocket that was to launch in 2018. Now, it's anticipated that it can occur on the LA-built BFR, instead of a Falcon Heavy carrying a Dragon capsule. Indeed, one of his statements to this effect - "I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact" - has found its way onto T-shirts and posters.

SpaceX says it's signed the first private passenger to fly around the Moon in one of its rockets, and will reveal the mystery passenger's name at 6 p.m.

Space live-streamed the news after teasing the announcement few days ago and calling it "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

The company has revealed little else about the trip, and it's anyone's guess when it might actually happen.

The identity of the traveller will be released at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, during an event Monday evening.

PayPal and Tesla founder Musk is staying tight-lipped too, but offered a key hint.

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"Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon!" the Japanese entrepreneur proclaimed.

The new strategy is to still fly around the moon, but using an even bigger SpaceX rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship.

"I'm not sure if we will test a flight around the Moon or not, but we will probably try doing that before sending any people". His tweet of a Japanese flag emoji, fueled speculation that the mystery passenger is a Japanese businessperson.

Maezawa says he is not planning to make the lunar voyage alone, but will invite up to eight artists to journey with him.

Musk said two people who know each other approached the company about a week-long flight to the moon and back.

Musk said: "The goal for SpaceX, the reason for creating SpaceX, was to accelerate the advent of humanity becoming a space-faring civilisation; to help advance rocket technology to a point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species and a true space-faring civilisation".

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